*Disclaimer: Kid Flvsh is a friend of the writer.
It was day one of Rolling Loud 2019 in New York. I was hot, sweaty and, possibly, dehydrated amidst a crowd of hundreds — maybe a thousand. But I was pumped, ready to battle the crowd again after rapper Rico Nasty’s set. Lil Tjay was hopping on stage next.
The backdrop on stage changed to a scarlet red background overlaid with Lil Tjay’s name in soft script as diamonds showered the screen. The backdrop reacted to the beat of “Pop Out,” the rapper’s hit song, and the crowd started jumping again.
As the bass rang in my ear and fans rapped lyric to lyric, I pulled out my phone, ready to post on my Instagram story. I knew exactly who made the backdrop.
Kid Flvsh — whose real name is Sean Williams — is a six-time platinum and two-time gold cover artist from East Newark, New Jersey. Aside from Lil Tjay, the album cover artist has done work for various rappers including DJ Khaled, Jay Critch, Rich The Kid, Dave East, Flipp Dinero, Blocboy JB, Tay Keith and Coi LeRay — just to name a few.
But he told Slice of Culture he didn’t choose this career path, it just kind of chose him.
“I guess it was just meant for me,” he laughed.
I was in the middle of class, and he needed cover art
The 22-year-old’s first major project was his first cover art for “Vacation,” a 2017 single by DJ XO and DJ Wavy featuring Dave East.
In 2017, Williams attended college at Pratt Institute in New York. His roommate was a close friend of DJ Wavy, an upcoming rapper at the time, and the artist did some drawings for DJ Wavy here and there.
But, one day, the upcoming rapper asked for a bigger favor.
“I was in the middle of history class and (DJ Wavy) hit me up like, ‘Yo bro, I need some cover art,’” he laughed.
But, at the time, he said he didn’t know what cover art was until he looked it up and then figured it out. In music, cover art is artwork created for a music album.
He said from that moment, he just never looked back. The artwork was the featured photo on a post on HYPEBEAST magazine the same day.
‘It was up from there’
Just a year later, in 2018, Lil Tjay was just signed and one of his managers — who had been following Kid Flvsh — asked the artist to make his first cover art for Tjay’s streaming platform release for “Brothers,” a song that has since gone 2x platinum.
Since then, the 22-year-old has been active in collaborating with the rapper, creating six of his covers — “Hold On,” “FN,” “Resume,” “GOAT” and “Long Time.”
In 2019, he made the cover for “Too Many Opinions,” a Soundcloud mixtape by Coi Leray, a rising rapper from Hackensack, New Jersey.
Then, for Rolling Loud 2019, Williams had not only one gfx for a rapper’s set, but two. Nearly two hours later, his second creation came to life and was set as the backdrop for Flipp Dinero.
“It was a mind-blowing experience for me,” he said. “I’m not gonna lie, I still can’t believe it to this day.”
Other rappers he’s worked with include Sheff G, Sleepy Hallow, Eli Fross, Omari Hardwick, Andre Drummond, Ji The Prince of NY and DJ Self.
Williams and I went to Marist High School together in Bayonne. We were in the same homeroom — homeroom 1D, but never had any classes together.
All I knew about him was that he could draw. And I mean, draw. He used to sketch animated versions of our classmates.
But he developed his talent before that.
In fifth grade, when he was 10 years old, his friend Taysir brought a sketchbook during the first week of school and he was captured by it.
“I tried it and of course it was terrible, but I was determined to become nice and never stopped after that,” he said.
Nowadays, he makes animations on a program called After Effects, but first draws everything and works it out on his iPad Pro and Apple pencil. Then, it’s transferred to his laptop where he brings it to life.
But Kid Flvsh isn’t just an award-winning album cover artist; he’s also an animator, rapper and producer.
He said soon he’ll be releasing a new episode of “#DaFlies,” his animated series and will also be dropping new music.
“As a rapper, I feel like my lyricism improves every track I drop and has its own unique flavor and sound. As a producer, I feel like it brings out my inner rager and, as an animator, I lowkey feel like a God because I have the power to create literal universes and the people that live in them. It’s such an amazing feeling creating something and bringing it to life! It’s all I ever wanted to do!”
A piece of advice, “… Trust your gut/instincts, stay focused, stay hungry, stay consistent and most importantly HAVE FUN!”